Monitoring social media is a must for any business let alone a small to medium sized business. You should be monitoring social media to understand who is talking about you, what is being said and where these conversations are taking place. It is a great way to understand your audience and their needs as well as for identifying influencers. Influencers as the name suggests are people who carry a lot of weight within a sector or niche and, can have a positive effect on your business if you manage to connect with them.
There are a wealth of tools available and the following is a selection which you can use to monitor social media. You may need to tweak the searches depending on the results so there is an element of testing involved to see what work’s best.
At the very least you should be using Google Alerts to monitor any mentions of your business, competitors or any relevant terms. It is very simple to set up as the following video demonstrates:
If you are using a tool like Tweetdeck to manage your Twitter account(s) you can easily set up searches by adding a column. The search can be for keywords or you can even monitor hashtags e.g. #restaurants #london. If you want to receive alerts you can use Twilert or Tweetbeep and both are very easy to use and set up. You can also use Twitter Search and I would recommend using the advanced search option. It provides lots of options and you can receive the results via RSS.
Social Mention is an interesting tool which provide lots of search options. You can search by media type (forums, blogs, comments, videos, etc.) and by social network or channel (Digg, Facebook, Flickr, WordPress, etc.). Social Mention provides various statistics and includes sentiment which shows if the results are positive, negative or neutral.
Social Media Monitoring Dashboard
You can set up a monitoring dashboard where you can add all of your searches and view the results easily at a glance in one place. You can monitor your search terms via Twitter, Google Alerts, etc. and point all the feeds to an RSS reader like Google Reader or Netvibes. I use Netvibes as I find its very easy to set up and use.
Please leave me a comment if there are any free monitoring tools you’d like to recommend.